“End of Times”, a track by Black Dog, London 1994 – Downie / Handley / Turner one of these guys must have had a shawm preset on his synth. A city hardened by the fire, scourged by the times. London and the River Thames. Mrs Plath and the children without heating in their apartment, a very cold winter. Nerve-wracked, no more strength to endure, but a talent for rhymes. Putting the H in a weird place. Heartbreaker, ondes-MartHenot. Harvest: reap what you sow. Reaper as in finisher – a track finished in one take, just a little talk beforehand. Amish Maffia Hold-ups, vividly told by Bryan over dinner. European glances of amazement. American Thrills: Don’t Fear the Reaper, sung by geriatric nurses on christmas eve, with quivering voices, deep in the woods. Frail, thus not as strong as a bagpipe wail. But with a similar sense of warning.
9’42” favourite moment kicks in around 7’57”.
Continuum, momentum, just a moment: we are back in England. Moors, Mist, Marshes. The apprentice of Thomas Hardy’s Conjuror Trendle falls through a loophole and finds himself stuck in the scenery of Stalker. Mazes of eerie vertigo. At every corner, a vague sound that recalls Händel’s Royal Fireworks. Crackle and Pop. Have them for breakfast. St Augustine, and the Sorcerer, looking for atoms of alchemy in their hissing cauldrons, cutting equal or parallel spells. Death Bell Monochord. Inhale some of Aga Alèmu “Abatatchen Hoy” to counter the hyper hyperventilation.
7’11” favourite moment the microtonal sliding chord on 3’53”.
Rites of the Piper – original title. Bohemia, sometime early 19th century. Fear among miners: the earth has tides. Big blocks move, ebb and flow, just like any regular blue ocean. All those carefully constructed corridors could at any instant encounter a flood of earth. Tides unforeseen. Slow and not to be stopped, like the orange blob in Blake & Mortimer’s De Valstrik (era of 5060). Did I read it, or just dream about it? The gaslight on the dirty faces, trolleys in the darkness, the sound of iron wheels. Bohemia, dark forests, very strange lore. Recorder or Pipes? Recorder, then. No catching rats. “Dekalog I” by Z. Preisner, who also seemed to love recorders.
10’33” favourite moment 8’00”
Nightsky in magma and coral skeleton colors: mirrors the youth dreams of planets. Future is beyond ancient. Debris circling around without purpose and without safety net. Philip Glass’ “Koyaanisqatsi”, always a good reminder of hearing bagpipes where there are none. Overtones, undertones, bourdon tones, all get caught in the sparking circuitry. Thingamajig, who came up with that word? Jigs and Reels, eternal whirls, no wonder that people kept dancing. Ongerijmd. Endrhymes. It was just an idea and it became the tune that seemed to play itself.
11’57” favourite moment the return of the pipes at about 9’02”.